Wastewater from chemical plants has remarkable antibiotic effects on the microorganisms in traditional biological treatment processes. An enhanced Fenton system catalyzed by natural pyrite was developed to degrade this kind of wastewater. Approximately 30% chemical oxygen demand (COD) was removed within 120 min when 50 mmol/L H2
and 10 g/L natural pyrite were used at initial pH from 1.8 to 7. A BOD5
/COD enhancement efficiency of 210% and an acute biotoxicity removal efficiency of 84% were achieved. The COD removal efficiency was less sensitive to initial pH than was the classic Fenton process. Excessive amounts of pyrite and H2
did not negatively affect the pyrite Fenton system. The amount of aniline generated indicated that nitrobenzene reduction by pyrite was promoted using a low initial concentration of H2
(<5 mmol/L). Fluorescence excitation emission matrix analyses illustrated that H2
facilitated the reduction by natural pyrite of organic molecules containing an electron-withdrawing group to electron-donating group. Thus, the Fenton-like process catalyzed by pyrite can remediate wastewater containing organic pollutants under mild reaction conditions and provide an alternative environmentally friendly method by which to reuse natural pyrite.
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